5 Things You Need To Know Before You Switch To Solar

Solar is a worthy investment, but it's still an investment. This is what you need to know before you start drawing up those blueprints, so you can get the most of your solar power.

Solar isn’t one of those home improvement projects where you can make a mistake, shrug your shoulders, and determine to do better next time.

Not at all.

While solar is much more affordable than it has ever been, along with government rebates and tax incentives, it’s still a big investment. And there are important things to consider before you make the switch.

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Solar energy is a great way to save money, but are you ready for them?

1.Improve Efficiency Before Solar Power

Yes, solar power will make you more energy efficient. But the more efficient your house is overall, the more money you will save.

Start with an energy audit, upgrade to ENERGY STAR energy efficient appliances, then start looking at solar.

2.Make Sure Your Roof Can Handle It

Obviously, your roof needs to be good for solar, and it needs to be able to handle solar.

You’ll want a solar evaluation for your home from a solar professional. They will be able to tell you if you could benefit from solar energy.  They will also tell you where your panels would get the most sun and be most efficient.

If solar is good for your roof, then you need to make sure that it is structurally sound and can support the solar panels. Solar panel warranties usually last around 20-25 years. You don’t want to have to repair your roof halfway through their lifespan. That would mean extra time and money disconnecting and reinstalling them. Have a roofing professional check your roof and give you the green light for solar panels.

Photovoltaic Solar Panels

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3.Decide Which Solar Option Fits Your Budget

There are quite a few financing options for solar. You’ll want to find the best one for your budget and finances. The main three options are purchase, loan, and PPA.

PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) allows you to “rent” solar panels from a solar company and buy electricity from them at a reduced price. This will still be lower than your current electric bill.

The loan option would be something similar to taking out a home improvement loan and paying off your solar panels over a time.

And the purchase option would be to simply buy the panels for yourself outright. This has the steepest upfront cost, but it does usually have the best energy savings.

4.Decide Which Type Of Solar Is Best For you

The two main types of solar are photovoltaic (uses cells on panels to turn sunlight into electricity) and thermal (uses sunlight to heat water to use inside).

If you live in an area that you use a lot of energy on heating, or if heating fuel is more expensive than electricity, solar thermal might pay for itself sooner. But since not many installers do solar thermal, it might be harder to find a good, fully-credentialed installer.

5.Find The Best Professional For You

Your solar professional is the most important part of the whole process.

You want to make sure your installer has all the credentials, insurance, and references as required by state and federal law. Accreditation from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners is particularly important.

You also want to check customer references and gather many quotes so you can compare costs. Make sure they’re a company with staying power and that they’ll be around for a long time to come.

Any contract you sign should include all information about ownership, performance, financing, and warranties.

If you’re feeling uncertain, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. We connect our homeowners with the best professionals in their area. We’re willing to do the work for you and get you those quotes.

For one less thing to worry about, fill out the form below.

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  1. My aunt told me that she wants to conserve electricity and save money by using solar panels at home. She then asked for my help in looking for solar power system installers. Although she knows that investing in a solar panel would be costly at first, she said that she’s willing to take the risk because she thinks it’s a worthy investment. good thing I have read your article before installing one in her house. We must make sure the roof can handle the panels. With that, I’ll consider this tip and relay it over to my aunt.

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